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Georgian youngster Tato Grigalashvili controls Olympic champion
22 Feb 2020 20:05
One-time Grand Prix gold medallist Tato Grigalashvili of Georgia delivered a commanding victory for Georgia as the world number 18 toyed with the Olympic champion Khasan Khalmurzaev (RUS) on his way to -81kg gold. The 20-year-old was unfazed by the calibre of his opposition in the final as the gold backpatch of the Russian only served to highlight just how impressive Grigalashvili was despite being relatively raw at this level.
A ura-nage by the Georgian earned a waza-ari score and there was no way back for Khalmurzaev who was comfortably contained for the entire contest by his new rival.
In the first semi-final Khalmurzaev beat three-time Grand Prix bronze medallist Robin Pacek (SWE) by two scores to signal his return to form. In the second semi-final Grigalashvili threw Asian Games bronze medallist Vladimir Zoloev (KGZ) with a low seoi-nage for his second waza-ari score to move into the gold medal contest.
The first bronze medal was won by former Paris Grand Slam winner Frank De Wit (NED) who produced the only score of the contest against Zoloev after 52 seconds of golden score. De Wit threw Zoloev with a uchi-mata but the latter turned out and onto his front only for the Dutchman to follow through and roll his rival over for a waza-ari.
The second bronze medal went to Pacek who was the spoiler as he silenced the home crowd by defeating world number five Dominic Ressel (GER) by ippon. After one minute of golden score the home judoka went all-out on the attack as he searched for the German men’s team’s first medal of the event but Pacek was braced and countered with a ura-nage for the maximum score.
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